Everything You Need To Know About Facebook’s Targeting Updates

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With nearly 3 billion monthly active users across the world, Facebook is an incredibly valuable political marketing tool. With its ability to both target specific lists, interest-based audiences, and ‘look a like’ segments – Facebook can be leveraged to advance political messaging & increase audience engagement. 

As attention has rightly been drawn to misuses of the platform that allow for the spread of misinformation and online abuse, the door has been opened to needed reforms in how Facebook regulates marketing.  Whether you’re running your own political campaign or working with a firm, these changes might have ushered in some fear and uncertainty. We’re here to set the record straight!

So, what are these new changes? 

Facebook offers Detailed Targeting on the basis of Interests, Behaviors, and Demographics. Meta’s scheduled changes will only impact Interest-based targeting. Interest-based targeting allows advertisers to target users whose activity indicates an interest in a certain topic, ex: liking a page titled “Pennsylvania Democrats” clicking on an ad for a local candidate, or showing interest in a public or political figure. Other methods of targeting— behaviors and demographics — will not be affected.

As of January 19th, 2022, advertisers will no longer be able to use interest targeting for topics related to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation. When it comes to political marketing, interest pages and content in the realm of political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations, and figures will no longer be able to be used for targeting. 

While these changes may seem drastic, they were made in response to feedback from a Facebook focus group of civil rights experts, policymakers, and other stakeholders to prevent advertising that abuses human interest. However, the big question is, how to effectively market yourself as a candidate in light of these changes?

Will this affect my existing ad sets?

January 19th onwards, new campaigns will no longer have access to these Interest-based targeting measures. Existing campaigns with targeting options that violate the new policy will be flagged with instructions to update targeting standards. These flagged ad sets can run until March 17th — after that point,  political campaigns using Interest-based targeting will be paused pending edits. 

What does this mean for my campaign? 

One way you can still target voters is by leveraging Facebook’s lookalike targeting tools to create lookalike audiences using existing ad sets. Facebook can take your existing custom audience and create a ‘lookalike’ audience based on people who have similar qualities to your original audience. As of January 2022, Facebook still allows campaigns to upload their own targeted voter or donor lists into their ad accounts to create audiences.  

For many campaigns, an organic Facebook presence is crucial in engaging with voters — which can be done without paid ads. But with all the chaos surrounding election season, organizing your social posts and staying up to date can take critical time away from making calls or knocking doors. That’s why we’ve created a free content calendar to organize your social media posts across multiple platforms, manage posting and production schedules, and streamline your political campaign’s messaging agenda — download it now

Another option is to target Facebook users indirectly through display ads on news articles which appear frequently on Facebook feeds. SpeakEasy has your back with our industry-best voter data and extensive suite of Digital Ad and Mail templates, perfect for creating display ads to connect with your audience! With our voter-data from Targetsmart, we are able to micro-target your voters, at a fraction of the cost! SpeakEasy Political users can easily select a template, customize their design, and then build a program that reaches voters in minutes. 

Get started building your program today or book a time below to chat with one of our campaign media experts! 

We are SpeakEasy Political, the leading tool for campaigns and organizations to easily create high-impact digital media and direct mail campaigns. By leveraging innovative media strategies and our brand building experience, our tech powers Democratic candidates and causes up and down the ballot. SpeakEasy’s Consultant Studio was also built to support consultant teams with leading data, strategic targeting, and comprehensive ad tech to serve as your backend media buying operation.  If you have any questions, or want to learn more about how we can help you achieve your campaign goals, our team is standing by to help! You can schedule a call with one of our campaign professionals below, or reach out to us at [email protected]!

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